24th #AllAmerican Portrait: Nicolas

First name: Nicolas

What does it mean to be American?

Being American involves the suspension of disbelief, a dream state of hopes.
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23rd #AllAmerican Portrait: Phi

First name: Phi

What does it mean to be American?

For me, being American means learning how to hold two completely contradictory narratives in one space.  It means trying to reconcile the ideals of justice, freedom, and equality to which we aspire with the reality that  our country is built and sustained on slavery, white supremacy, and erasure of people of color.  It means being grateful to the strangers who welcomed my refugee family to America with open arms and uplifted by their kindness while still deep down recognizing that this country has never wholly belonged to me. 
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#AllAmericanPortraits Celebrates Black Americans

On this last day of February, as Black History Month comes to a close, I want to honor our fellow Black Americans. A single month is obviously insufficient, and yet, it can still serve as a reminder of all that we owe Black Americans, while also acknowledging that we have a long way to go to undo the generations of injustice, inequality, and oppression inflicted upon Black Americans.

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21st #AllAmerican Portrait: Esther

First name: Esther

What does it mean to be American?

I believe that to be American is to be fundamentally tied to the struggles, the suffering, and the triumphs that compose the U.S. and its systems, culture, politics, and history. Americanness manifests in about as many forms as there are people in this country, but the common denominator lies in having been shaped by America – this weird, often dissonant, sometimes insidiously or beautifully harmonious amalgam of institutions, ideologies, peoples, and cultures, oppressive or resistive, public or private. We, as Americans, have identities born from and continually molded by the ways in which we interact and engage – not always consciously and not always of our own volition – with it. Continue reading “21st #AllAmerican Portrait: Esther”

Celebrating the First 20 #AllAmericanPortraits

What does it mean to be American? What makes America great?

This Valentine’s Day of 2018–the day that celebrates love–I want to celebrate the twenty lovely individuals who have so graciously agreed to be featured in #AllAmericanPortraits thus far. In doing so, they have helped us all to reflect upon what it means to be American and what makes America great.

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19th #AllAmerican Portrait: JJ

First name: JJ*

What does it mean to be American?

Being American means constantly coming to terms with our country’s past and present litany of injustices and figuring out how best to confront them; to constantly be honest with yourself and others around you about the inequalities that exist in this country and our role in perpetuating them; and finally, to always have the courage to stand up for what is right/be a social justice warrior at home and beyond.
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18th #AllAmerican Portrait: Sabrina (II)

First name: Sabrina

What does it mean to be American?

Being American is about all coming together with a mindset to be united. I believe it is to be proud of of where you come from and cherishing the diversity we have in this country. It’s about staying together and lifting each other up in any event despite political views. It is to treat everyone with equal respect, an open mind and with a kind heart. Continue reading “18th #AllAmerican Portrait: Sabrina (II)”

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